Saturday, January 31, 2015

Saturday Author Spotlight: A.M. Arthur #Interview & #Giveaway

I am super excited to have A.M. Arthur, author of What You Own, Belonging Series, and so many more amazing books as my Spotlight author this week. It's wonderful knowing when you open a book by an author you know you're going to be blown away. You're going to go on a journey that is written beautifully and will submerge you into a fantastic world. That's what you get with A.M. Arthur.

She has an INCREDIBLE giveaway for one fan today and, of course, a wonderful interview. I'd like to take a moment and look at some of her books first:

For Ryan Sanders, the Paige Community Center is more than a place where he teaches at-risk teens about musical theater. He found a sense of belonging there during one of the hardest times of his life. With the center facing a financial crisis, he’ll do whatever it takes to keep the doors open—even soliciting fundraiser donations from Langley-Quartermaine Financial.

Adam Langley has a plan: survive an internship at his father’s company, finish college, get his trust fund, and find his former high school best friend Ryan and beg his forgiveness. In that order, because if Ryan does forgive him, Adam believes he’ll finally find the courage to come out to his wealthy, bigoted father.

Adam’s carefully considered plan is shattered when Ryan appears at the office a full ten months before Adam is ready, and Ryan is just as stunned. Against his better judgment, Adam gets involved with the fundraiser—and Ryan. Old feelings won’t be denied, and as Ryan and Adam reconnect, they realize neither knows the entire truth about the horrific night three years earlier that tore their friendship apart.

Twenty-two-year-old Alessandro Silva knows that returning to tiny Perch Creek to help his foster mother was the right thing to do. With no degree and a delinquent's reputation, he's lucky to have landed a job waiting tables. But not everyone is happy he's back, and the only thing keeping his move home from being a total bust is his boss's hot brother.

Jaime Winters spent most of his life watching the world go by, first from a series of hospitals and then from behind big stacks of textbooks. Studying is easier than facing the fact that years of heart failure means he's still a virgin at twenty-three. Until the new waiter in his sister's diner awakens desires he'd long ago given up on.

The last thing Alessandro wants is to fall for someone as fragile as Jaime. And Jaime may have a new heart, but he's scared of what giving it to another person would mean. Their no-strings-attached, instructional approach to sex keeps emotion safely at bay, until a secret from Alessandro's past forces them to confront their feelings in the present…

Cole Alston swore he’d never return to his childhood home in rural North Carolina, but when his mother dies, he inherits her hoarded property. He hopes to sell everything and use the money to start over in Canada, far away from his abusive ex-boyfriend. It’s a daunting task, and Cole has no idea where to start. Luckily for him, the local antique store owner, Jeremy Collins, volunteers his services in sorting the hoard. Their professional relationship soon evolves into a personal one, but Cole must overcome his past and his anxiety before he can accept a new man in his life or the possibility of a happy future.

"Fixing the home can heal the heart-if you can find all the pieces. "

Police officer Samuel Briggs is getting to know the people on his new, third-shift beat, but he'd prefer they not know too much about him-or the painful past that drove him away from New Mexico to start fresh in small-town Stratton, PA.

All he wants is peace, a manageable routine, and time to fix up his project home. There's no room in his broken heart for a new relationship. It's crowded with too many memories. But there's something about the Dixie's Cup short-order cook, who's flirty one minute, distracted the next, that piques Sam's interest.

Part-time cook, part-time hardware salesman and full-time handyman Rey King lives to work-but not because he loves it. Relationships? No time. Until one glance at Sam's haunted eyes sends a plumb line straight to his wary heart.

One afternoon of impulsive, no-strings sex begins to grow into a cautious friendship. But when Rey is seriously injured protecting a friend, the cracks in their already shaky foundation begin to show. Falling in love wasn't in either man's recovery plan...and this time, the risk could be too great.

Warning: Contains one emotionally wrecked cop, one angsty short-order cook, a few too many secrets, some meddling small-town folk, and plenty of hot man-on-man action.

Of course you can check out all her books on Goodreads: A.M. Arthur on GR or other links that will be posted below.

 You're doing an awesome giveaway to one fan. An ARC of your new book The Truth As He Knows It (Out February 10th) Tell us about this book?

Truth kicks off a brand new series, Perspectives, which will have at least three titles. It’s the story of Shane, a guy who strips for extra cash to keep the lights on, and Noel, a rookie cop who’s still in the closet. They’re an unlikely pair at first, but they can’t deny their mutual attraction, and after one night of very hot sex, they both realize they want what should have been a one-off to be a lot more.

Except, you know, secrets. Secrets like whoa.

 What is your process like (From idea to print)?

Well, most of my books don’t go to literal print, but I understand what you mean. My process is fairly straightforward. I always have something new simmering while writing a WIP, so I never lack for projects. When I’m ready to start something new, I always begin by writing biographies for the two heroes. I need to know who these guys are, and what they’ve already dealt with in their lives. That’s not to say I outline their book. But do need to know their history.

Then I write. I have a notebook to keep track of things like eye color and friend’s names. Lately I’ve been printing out calendar pages by the month so I can keep track of the passage of time more easily. After I have a first draft, I let it sit a few days before going through and reading it. I try to read it in one day, which helps make sure the timeline is right. I also edit as I go, tightening and removing extraneous words. Then I polish up an outline and submit it to my editor.

 Are there going to be anymore Belonging Series books?

No. Belonging was meant to be a three-book trilogy. That doesn’t mean I won’t write a short or something featuring the characters. And they do pop up in my new Restoration trilogy from time to time, so they aren’t gone for good.

 How much say do you have in your covers when dealing with a publisher?

For each book I fill out an Art Fact sheet. It asks about the heroes’ appearances, important locations, theme, things I don’t like on covers. The art department goes from there. Afterward, every publisher is different. For my Dreamspinner books, I am usually given 3-4 mock ups that I can comment on/choose from, and a final cover is made from that feedback. Samhain consistently knocks my covers out of the park.

Carina has been an interesting journey, and I love them for listening. The initial covers for No Such Thing and Maybe This Time weren’t my favorite, and by the time Stand By You came out, we were having discussions about unity and making the series feel the same. So I was very, very blessed when I was given two brand new, gorgeous covers for NST and MTT that flow very well with SBY.

 How do you come up with the titles for your books? Do you know them from the beginning or do they form as you write?

Yes. LOL. It depends. Sometimes I know the title right off the bat. I knew the title for Perspectives #2 before I wrote a word, and I already know #3. The Belonging titles all changed during production for various marketing reasons. I’d say most of my titles are ones I initially came up with. So far I think I’ve had to change four. Even if I come up with a title while writing, it may not be what the publisher ends up using.

 Do you remember, and if so can you tell us, what the first M/M book you read was and did it push you toward writing in this genre?

Regularly Scheduled Life by K.A. Mitchell. I saw the review on Dear Author, and I thought “wow, this sounds amazing.” I only kind of new about m/m romance, but not really. Until then, the bulk of my exposure to m/m was fanfiction. That particular book didn’t push me to start writing m/m romance, exactly. But it began my long, exciting journey of reading within the genre, and I have no regrets.

 Do your books (any or all) have a playlist? Is music key? If not what helps keep you in the zone?

You know, not really. Half the time I write to silence or to the white noise of a fan running in the background. If I do play music, it’s instrumental.

 Tell us about some of your future projects?

After Truth, I have Getting It Right releasing March 16. This is the first in a new Carina Press trilogy called Restoration, and it features Belonging supporting character James “Tag” McTaggert.  A lot of folks have been asking for his book, so I’m really excited to share his love story. Restoration #2, Finding Their Way, releases in July, and this is Tag’s friend Boxer’s story. And October will see Perspectives #2, The World As He Sees It, which is Tristan’s story. So far, that’s 2015.

 In The Truth As He Knows It, is there any parts of you or your experiences that you incorporated into this book?

You know, I never think too hard about what of myself goes into my books. But thinking on it, the strength of Shane’s relationship with his older brother Jason is very much like my relationship with my big sister. We’d do anything for each other, and we’re very close. Granted, we haven’t been through any ordeals as traumatic as Shane and Jason, but the love and loyalty is the same.

 What forms of social media, and/or websites do you have so your fans can follow your career?


So now you know the giveaway. One LUCKY reader will win an ARC copy of The Truth As He Knows It! *Cheers* Just enter below. Contest runs until February 6th. Winner will be notified via email so be sure to check your spam. 

I want to thank A.M. Arthur for being with us today and sharing her future projects and giving one of you an awesome chance to win this book. 

Good luck to you all. Remember... Review. It matters!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Blog Tour: Soulmate for SIN by Izzy Van Swelm~ Character Interview & #Giveaway

Title: Soulmate for SIN

Author: Izzy van Swelm

Publisher: Wilde City Press

Publication Date: 28 Jan 2015

Cover Artist: Adrian Nicholas

Genre:  Contemporary, Gay, MM Romance

The effects of an attack on SIN, a twenty-nine year old University lecturer, reach out further into his future than SIN could ever imagine. In a story, which seems doomed to start with an end, SIN learns about the forever kind of love, and how family is not just biological. Soul-Mate for SIN shows how twists of fate can take a loving, but ordinary family, from a small market town in Lincolnshire, England and turn them into something extraordinary. 

 Character Interview with Gabe (Gabriel)

Hello, what’s your name and where do you work?

Hello, my name is Gabe short for Gabriel and I’m a nurse working for the NHS in the ICU and HDU.

That’s a lot of abbreviations can you tell our readers what they mean?

Oh, sorry. The NHS is the National Health Service, which is our health care system in the UK. I’m trained as a nurse who can work in the Intensive Care Unit, and the High Dependency Unit in a hospital. Intensive Care is where someone will be if they are very ill needing life support care, usually it’s just before and just after major operations or serious downturns in their medical conditions.

High Dependency is where patients go when they are getting better and no longer require invasive life support but are not stable enough for a normal ward.

Do you like your job?

I love it and of course it’s how I met my boyfriend. I like looking after patients and seeing very ill people heal and go home well. I really like getting to know the families as well. I’m quite a people person (Flicks long thick hair and grins)

Can you tell us what you look like?

I’m about six foot (Lol, aren’t we all), but I love to wear boots with high heels, as work demands flats all the time. It’s nice to break out sometimes. Anyway, I have shoulder length dark hair, always tied in a ponytail for work…I’m sort of lean I suppose…my arms are strong, but that comes from nursing. I know gay men are always supposed to be at the gym, but I rarely have time. Oh and brown eyes…I have brown eyes.

So you say you met your boyfriend through your work can you tell us about that?

Um…No not really lol. It would give too much away. I will say it was a very worrying and heart breaking time for his family.

What do you like to do for fun?

I like spending time with …my boyfriend and we like playing games, RPG you know? I love dancing…I mean really love it. I let go of all my stresses and inhibitions when I hear dance music. I love to go out with friends. We all like a gay club in Nottingham called The Rainbow Lounge, even my boyfriend’s parents have been there!

Wow, that’s very unusual isn’t it? 

What for parents to go out with their kids? Yes, I don’t think it happens often but it isn’t unheard of and I think if the places are nice sometimes parents of LGBTQ young people like to show their support by having a nice night out together. My boyfriend’s mum had a great time. I think his dad was a bit more hesitant, but he was enjoying himself at the end, although I think Miss Clitty Sparkles was a bit much for him. LOL

I can imagine…I interviewed her recently! Did you see Lady Charlotte at the club?

OMG I don’t think I’d be brave enough to interview her…Yes, we’ve seen Lady Charlotte several times at The Rainbow Lounge but I don’t think she’s appeared there since Christmas, not sure why.

Can you tell us something about Soul Mate for SIN?

Not that much really…Izzy will be really angry if I give away too many spoilers. I get to do some dancing! There are some hard times for some lovely people, but some funny moments too, and I get the love and family I’ve always wanted. Oh and some…private moments but a gentleman doesn’t tell (winks) No animals were harmed in the telling of this story :)

Glad to hear it lol. Thank you Gabe for talking to us today. 
 You’re welcome anything for Izzy. Thank you. 

Author Bio

Izzy van Swelm is English, but took her Mother in Law’s maiden name as a pen name. Izzy dreams of a world where all sentient species have rights and respect. A world where LGBTQ lovers and friends, old and young, can walk holding hands meeting nothing more than the occasional affectionate eye roll. A world where intelligence, gentleness and compassion are the overwhelming attributes of politicians, and religion is practiced by those who believe, but never forced on those who do not.

Izzy is a romantic, a dreamer, a vegetarian and just a little eccentric. Izzy writes because she loves to tell stories, and she hopes that her stories will bring happiness, enjoyment and maybe to somea little hope.

Buy links:

Amazon: TBD


Tour links:
28 Jan - Diverse Reader
29 Jan - RJ Scott
2 Feb - The Hat Party
4 Feb - JP Barnaby
5 Feb - Love Bytes
6 Feb - GGR Reviews


a Rafflecopter giveaway